#1
I've been playing for a while now but I've only ever played written solos.

Does any one have any tips for improv. soloing?
#2
Improv is a lot about feeling and emotions. Use your knowledge of scales to let it out. There's really no better way than to do it a lot.
R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio. Supplied amazing music to both me and my mother.

He will be missed.
#4
Check out Marty Friedman, one of my favourite improvisers. He has this very unique "following the chords" thing going, sounds damn cool. You can pick up some nice ideas there.
Also, learn MODES. They will really help.
#6
I might be biased but i'd start off with simple blues solos and blues scales rather than modes if you are new to creating your own solos. IMO theres no better way to learn guitar improvisation than the blues. Its where u learn about expression and phrasing, dynamics and all that stuff that makes a great solo improviser Not to disagree with TubeAmp but modes and following chords can come later I reckon
Don't make me sick into my own scorn
____

If ya don't give a sh!t ya getcha hellyeah
Throwin' fists in the pit ya getcha hellyeah
Think you're f~ckin' with this well hell no.
Balls, volume, strength getcha' come on!
#7
Quote by BluesShredUK
I might be biased but i'd start off with simple blues solos and blues scales rather than modes if you are new to creating your own solos. IMO theres no better way to learn guitar improvisation than the blues. Its where u learn about expression and phrasing, dynamics and all that stuff that makes a great solo improviser Not to disagree with TubeAmp but modes and following chords can come later I reckon



Actually dude, this guy's right, yeah, learn the blues first, learn to use pentatonics properly, then do the Marty thing.


#8
Quote by TubeAmp89
Check out Marty Friedman, one of my favourite improvisers. He has this very unique "following the chords" thing going, sounds damn cool. You can pick up some nice ideas there.
Also, learn MODES. They will really help.

Modes won't help at all, certainly not this early on and possibly not ever. Also there's nothing unique about Marty Friedman, EVERY good improviser follows the chords.
Actually called Mark!

Quote by TNfootballfan62
People with a duck for their avatar always give good advice.

...it's a seagull

Quote by Dave_Mc
i wanna see a clip of a recto buying some groceries.


stuffmycatswatchontv.tumblr.com
#9
Quote by steven seagull
Modes won't help at all, certainly not this early on and possibly not ever. Also there's nothing unique about Marty Friedman, EVERY good improviser follows the chords.


Why does Marty sound so different then?

The point I wanted to get across was that Marty is one of my favourite improvisers, and is an excellent example of following chords, and he has a weird way of doing it, hitting all those weird notes. His video (melodic control) really helped me.

And regarding the modes, I beg to differ, after I learnt pentatonics, modal runs helped my improvisation a lot.

I am merely suggesting to the TS whatever helped me in the past.
Last edited by TubeAmp89 at Sep 10, 2009,
#10
Quote by steven seagull
Modes won't help at all, certainly not this early on and possibly not ever. Also there's nothing unique about Marty Friedman, EVERY good improviser follows the chords.



+++++1

I can't believe that most of the people in this thread don't realize that you should ALWAYS be aware of the chords that you are playing over, and what the chord tones are. As for improvising, forget scales: use your ear. A strong sense of rhythm and an excellent ear will take you MUCH farther that just memorizing some scales (although it is good to know your pentatonics and modes).
#11
Quote by TubeAmp89
Why does Marty sound so different then?

The point I wanted to get across was that Marty is one of my favourite improvisers, and is an excellent example of following chords, and he has a weird way of doing it, hitting all those weird notes. His video (melodic control) really helped me.

And regarding the modes, I beg to differ, after I learnt pentatonics, modal runs helped my improvisation a lot.

I am merely suggesting to the TS whatever helped me in the past.


Marty Friedman sounds the way he does because he realizes that you can play any note you want as long as you play it "right". Basically, your chord tones are "stable" and your non-chord tones are "unstable". However, you can use any note you want in passing as long as you accentuate the "stable" tones. Greg Howe and Guthrie Govan are prime examples of this. There are all kinds of "wrong notes" in both of their playing and they almost completely ignore scales, but their playing is incredibly melodic. It's because they realize what notes "work" and which ones don't over each chord that they play.
#12
Quote by WalkinDude91
Marty Friedman sounds the way he does because he realizes that you can play any note you want as long as you play it "right". Basically, your chord tones are "stable" and your non-chord tones are "unstable". However, you can use any note you want in passing as long as you accentuate the "stable" tones. Greg Howe and Guthrie Govan are prime examples of this. There are all kinds of "wrong notes" in both of their playing and they almost completely ignore scales, but their playing is incredibly melodic. It's because they realize what notes "work" and which ones don't over each chord that they play.


Well I feel that all of us have our own approaches, and, as I said, I just told the TS what helped me in the past. I dunno how theoretically right or wrong I am, but that's how I learnt.
#13
Well, if you looked at my video, you know my opinion on this

Scales don't matter, they only allow you to use different "colours", learning modes will NOT make you better at improvising!

...but then neither will following the chords...

These only give you notes that you can use, not notes that you should use. They can only help you find your way around, and wont actually make you a better improviser!

Just because you own a map, doesn't mean you know where its best to go
#14
Learn all the main major and minor scales, then go to town using them all.
There will be zero tolerance
For the creator of hallowed intentions
There will be zero tolerance
Fate is your deciding God
#15
Quote by TubeAmp89

And regarding the modes, I beg to differ, after I learnt pentatonics, modal runs helped my improvisation a lot.


Explain something for me. Tell me how you practice these 'modal runs.' Be descriptive.

Also, TS, try looking to Ritchie Blackmore for inspiration of real improvisation.
#16
What are modal runs?
Quote by razorback91
Im sorry, I just don't see how you could argue that hardcore isn't metal. That just seems arrogant to me.

Yes, its its own kind of metal, but its still metal.
#17
Quote by chainsawguitar

These only give you notes that you can use, not notes that you should use. They can only help you find your way around, and wont actually make you a better improviser!


Hmm i disagree - how can you be a better improviser without learning your way around the fretboard, or what options are available to you over each chord?
Don't make me sick into my own scorn
____

If ya don't give a sh!t ya getcha hellyeah
Throwin' fists in the pit ya getcha hellyeah
Think you're f~ckin' with this well hell no.
Balls, volume, strength getcha' come on!
#18
Quote by Colohue
Explain something for me. Tell me how you practice these 'modal runs.' Be descriptive.


Okay
This is the THIRD TIME I'm typing all this out my browser keeps crashing I am so pissed with my computer

Take a IV-V-VI progression in G Major/E minor for example. The most common progression in the history of our solar system

The chords are: Cmajor, Dmajor, Eminor.

You can do various things to improvise a solo:
1)Use ear skills, but many of us (myself included) don't have much of an ear, we're still working on it
2)Play Eminor Pentatonic (sounds very generic and boring unless you're REALLY good at it...don't get me wrong, you can make magic with JUST pentatonics)
3)Solo with modes, as follows:
You MUST know the shapes of the various modes to do this.


CHORD 1- Cmaj-
Play in the C Lydian mode. Don't play it up and down, that's boring. Try to play patterns with your fingers. Also try to incorporate groove variations in your picking. Play this mode as long as the chord lasts.

CHORD CHANGE- D maj-
Same as above, but play the D Mixolydian mode. Also, at the exact time that the chord change occurs, accent it by hitting any of the notes in the D major triad.

CHORD CHANGE- Emin-

Same as above, but use the E Aeolian(Natural Minor)/E Harmonic Minor.


Try experienting with different modes over different chords to give different flavours to your solos.

Have I explained myself well enough?


This helps in the following ways-
1) Helps you locate the required notes MUCH faster on th fretboard, since you already know the positions of the notes in the shapes.
2)Helps your ear skills to some extent, as you begin to understand which notes work where.
3) Makes playing so much more interesting and FUN due to the sheer variety of sounds at your disposal.

#19
But modes don't really have shapes, not inherently - it's all exactly the same as the major scale.

IMO Your method is overly complicated, if you're not good enough you won't really be creating a solo, just noodling over individual chords in a disjointed manner. The ability to construct a coherent melody in key over a progression is far more important and tends to yield more pleasing results. If it's a normal progression then trying to crowbar modes in that way is usually going to sound "wrong" to the listener because they're still going to be relating what you play to the music's tonal centre, which in this case is Em.

Also, that's a VI-VII-i progression in the key of Em.
Actually called Mark!

Quote by TNfootballfan62
People with a duck for their avatar always give good advice.

...it's a seagull

Quote by Dave_Mc
i wanna see a clip of a recto buying some groceries.


stuffmycatswatchontv.tumblr.com
Last edited by steven seagull at Sep 11, 2009,
#20
Quote by TubeAmp89
Okay
This is the THIRD TIME I'm typing all this out my browser keeps crashing I am so pissed with my computer

Take a IV-V-VI progression in G Major/E minor for example. The most common progression in the history of our solar system

The chords are: Cmajor, Dmajor, Eminor.

You can do various things to improvise a solo:
1)Use ear skills, but many of us (myself included) don't have much of an ear, we're still working on it
2)Play Eminor Pentatonic (sounds very generic and boring unless you're REALLY good at it...don't get me wrong, you can make magic with JUST pentatonics)
3)Solo with modes, as follows:
You MUST know the shapes of the various modes to do this.


CHORD 1- Cmaj-
Play in the C Lydian mode. Don't play it up and down, that's boring. Try to play patterns with your fingers. Also try to incorporate groove variations in your picking. Play this mode as long as the chord lasts.

CHORD CHANGE- D maj-
Same as above, but play the D Mixolydian mode. Also, at the exact time that the chord change occurs, accent it by hitting any of the notes in the D major triad.

CHORD CHANGE- Emin-

Same as above, but use the E Aeolian(Natural Minor)/E Harmonic Minor.


Try experienting with different modes over different chords to give different flavours to your solos.

Have I explained myself well enough?


This helps in the following ways-
1) Helps you locate the required notes MUCH faster on th fretboard, since you already know the positions of the notes in the shapes.
2)Helps your ear skills to some extent, as you begin to understand which notes work where.
3) Makes playing so much more interesting and FUN due to the sheer variety of sounds at your disposal.



Those "modes" are all E minor apart from the harmonic minor. You're not actually using modes at all, you're just using the idea of modes to help yourself simplify E minor when actually all you're doing is overcomplicating the idea. If you just learned E minor well you wouldn't have to be thinking in chord changes and all this complicated shit.
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

Quote by Master Foo
“A man who mistakes secrets for knowledge is like a man who, seeking light, hugs a candle so closely that he smothers it and burns his hand.”


Album.
Legion.
#21
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
Those "modes" are all E minor apart from the harmonic minor. You're not actually using modes at all, you're just using the idea of modes to help yourself simplify E minor when actually all you're doing is overcomplicating the idea. If you just learned E minor well you wouldn't have to be thinking in chord changes and all this complicated shit.

Lol, I never even noticed that, I was too busy trying to figure out what key it was in

Zaphod is right, you're not using modes at all, you're just playing in E minor.
Actually called Mark!

Quote by TNfootballfan62
People with a duck for their avatar always give good advice.

...it's a seagull

Quote by Dave_Mc
i wanna see a clip of a recto buying some groceries.


stuffmycatswatchontv.tumblr.com
Last edited by steven seagull at Sep 11, 2009,
#22
@Steven Seagull:It will obviously sound disjointed initially, it will get better with time. That's true for anything. Transitions between chord changes will improve as your sense of soloing improves. And about the VI-VII-i E minor thing, my bad.

@Zaphod Beeblebr:That is true in the case of this example. If in the progression one chord is held long enough, or there is a chord that lies OUTSIDE the key of the rest of the song, you can play the required mode depending on how you want it to feel. In some song (I don't remember exactly, but I think it was a Dream Theater song...or was it someone else...?) there is a chord that is completely outta key, but somehow it fits perfectly because of the solo that plays over it, and everytime that chord occurs, the guitatrist plays DIFFERENT scales,completely changing key. Like, assuming that chord was an A powerchord, he would play A phrygian the first time, then A Dorian, and so on...Modes DO help. The point of modes is NOT to break up an E minor scale, but to create more interesting flavours in the solo. What I wrote in there was a good way to understand modes, and once you're thorough with looking at a scale this way, you can begin to experiment with modes in different ways, like weird key changes, etc.
BTW: Is that what Satriani calls "Pitch Axis"?

If you had say A major followed by B major, play A Lydian and B Mixolydian. That of course the same thing in C# minor, but if you had, say A major, B major and C# Major, over the 3rd major chord, use, maybe, a melodic minor, or completely change key and play some major sounding mode? Sounds cool to me...
Last edited by TubeAmp89 at Sep 11, 2009,
#23
Yes, Pitch Axis is the act of pivoting over a singular tonal centre to a different mode. However, you're not playing modes because you're not playing modal music; you're playing E minor.

Also, you say that there is a chord out of key, but the solo makes it sound good? I think you have that mixed up. The chords provide the backings for the solo. Besides, an out of key chord can still have a very strong grounding in the key you're in based on which notes in the chord are in key and which could be considered accidentals.

The best bet is to lay off modes completely. They take a lot of understanding and they can't really be improvised due to the nature of them; at least not when you're playing modal. It's possible when suggesting modality, but horrendously difficult otherwise.
#24
Quote by TubeAmp89
Check out Marty Friedman, one of my favourite improvisers. He has this very unique "following the chords" thing going, sounds damn cool. You can pick up some nice ideas there.
Also, learn MODES. They will really help.

So unique every jazz player of the past now imitates the method.

Learning minor and major pentatonic scales would be your best bet to start with. Make up a super basic vamp or backing track in guitar pro and then just play over it trying to use the notes of the scale in the key your backing track is based.

What really worked for me was humming a simple lick with only a few notes to start and then playing it, slowly building up the number of notes you hum. After a while you will hum at the same time as you play, and your humming will be more like a flowing sequence of notes than a few discrete notes put together.
Go slowly, and make sure you know the scale notes all over the fretboard so you're not just stuck in one position playing up and down the strings like some uninteresting twat.

Modes are horrifically confusing to most people that post here, I wouldn't worry about it for a long while.
^Note: Probably sarcastic
Gear
Schecter Blackjack C1-FR
Few Agile 8-strings
Ormsby Hypemachine 2014 otw!!

Carvin X-100B
axe-fx II

W.A musicians FTW
Quote by crisisinheaven
Deep*Kick. You have destroyed every concept of life I've ever had.
#25
Quote by BluesShredUK
Hmm i disagree - how can you be a better improviser without learning your way around the fretboard, or what options are available to you over each chord?


Because you learn to use your ear.

Learning your way around the fretboard is learning your way around the fretboard, not learning to improvise. They are separate things. You could know hundreds of scales without being able to improvise, or you could know none and be a great improviser.
#26
Quote by Deep*Kick
So unique every jazz player of the past now imitates the method.

Learning minor and major pentatonic scales would be your best bet to start with. Make up a super basic vamp or backing track in guitar pro and then just play over it trying to use the notes of the scale in the key your backing track is based.

What really worked for me was humming a simple lick with only a few notes to start and then playing it, slowly building up the number of notes you hum. After a while you will hum at the same time as you play, and your humming will be more like a flowing sequence of notes than a few discrete notes put together.
Go slowly, and make sure you know the scale notes all over the fretboard so you're not just stuck in one position playing up and down the strings like some uninteresting twat.

Modes are horrifically confusing to most people that post here, I wouldn't worry about it for a long while.


Really? Because the concepts of modes seem pretty simple to me. I don't understand why everyone has such a hard time with it.
#27
Quote by WalkinDude91
Really? Because the concepts of modes seem pretty simple to me. I don't understand why everyone has such a hard time with it.


Well people seem to have trouble differentiating between modal and non-modal music. Then there are different methods of modal implication, pivoting over tonal centres (typically done over pedal notes) and modal progressions. Things get nicely complicated.

The problem is, people think that, if they play C major, but start on D, they're playing Dorian. They're not; they're playing C major, starting on D.
#28
Quote by TubeAmp89
@Zaphod Beeblebr:That is true in the case of this example. If in the progression one chord is held long enough, or there is a chord that lies OUTSIDE the key of the rest of the song, you can play the required mode depending on how you want it to feel. In some song (I don't remember exactly, but I think it was a Dream Theater song...or was it someone else...?) there is a chord that is completely outta key, but somehow it fits perfectly because of the solo that plays over it, and everytime that chord occurs, the guitatrist plays DIFFERENT scales,completely changing key. Like, assuming that chord was an A powerchord, he would play A phrygian the first time, then A Dorian, and so on...Modes DO help. The point of modes is NOT to break up an E minor scale, but to create more interesting flavours in the solo. What I wrote in there was a good way to understand modes, and once you're thorough with looking at a scale this way, you can begin to experiment with modes in different ways, like weird key changes, etc.
BTW: Is that what Satriani calls "Pitch Axis"?


This is all very well and good but by doing this you're bringing modes into a situation that has no need of them. In the example you're posted you're not actually using modes at all, you're just using E minor and nothing else, the point is that for beginners who will only be soloing over simple progressions that don't go out of key you're just causing too much confusion by introducing ideas that have no place.

Using the idea of the pitch axis only helps once you have a VERY solid understanding of scales as a whole rather than trying to throw it at someone who's only just trying to understand even the basics of theory.

Also these modes only help people who have an understanding of what extra sounds the colour tones can bring to a solo and anyone who's that far into the knowledge of their instrument should know that scales don't dictate what you can play at all.
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

Quote by Master Foo
“A man who mistakes secrets for knowledge is like a man who, seeking light, hugs a candle so closely that he smothers it and burns his hand.”


Album.
Legion.
#29
I think really it's important to think about the notes you use, but don't overthink. How do you feel when you improvise, what do you want to say with your music? Don't just hit a bunch of notes, choose them wisely - not to be over dramatic, but think of a guitar solo as a dying breath - what do you want to express in those last moments. You don't have to pour everything out, because you're never going to spew it all before you kick the bucket, so keep it simple, keep it pure, and keep it meaningful.
#30
Quote by SameOld
I think really it's important to think about the notes you use, but don't overthink. How do you feel when you improvise, what do you want to say with your music? Don't just hit a bunch of notes, choose them wisely - not to be over dramatic, but think of a guitar solo as a dying breath - what do you want to express in those last moments. You don't have to pour everything out, because you're never going to spew it all before you kick the bucket, so keep it simple, keep it pure, and keep it meaningful.


I actually think that that's some of the best advice that's ever been given on the subject.
#31
i say this to everyone here... probably cos its the style I play, but seriously, learn some blues. i couldn't play well when i was playing rock, i went to blues and it opend doors to a whole new world! i can now goback and play my clasic rock without using tabs thanks to my blues, it really helped me out and i love the style (im talking about SRV, BB king, Gary Moore style stuff)
go learn it, it will help you soo much.

also, go play at the guitar jams, you pick so much up from there as well.
Quote by element4433
One time I watched a dog lick his own dick for twenty minutes.

Quote by Roc8995
No.


Well, technically it could be done, but only in the same way that you could change a cat into a hamburger. It's an unpleasant process, and nobody is happy with the result.
#32
this may not help but i just do random tapping sometimes or hit a random note i think will sound good